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Healthy Hands and Feet

Treatments in the Spa
Clients look to their technician as the authority they should be on how to keep their hands, nails, and cuticles looking their best before and after the spa service. Nail technicians across the country have various tricks up their sleeves and use a diverse list of favored ingredients and recipes to keep clients happy and coming back for more. Many make use of local or specialty ingredients and offer nail services that speak to their region or to seasons or holidays.

I am a true believer in linking your clients and your services in a way that make them particularly memorable and, if possible, unique to you and your business. Often when I travel and enjoy a spa service, it is one of the things I relate to a particular city because of a certain ingredient or technique the professional uses. Hands and nails lend themselves to a wellspring of treatments to exfoliate, strengthen, moisturize, and generally improve their overall look and feel. These are powerhouse income areas for you in that they are very receptive to the benefits of treatment and offer instant gratification for clients while also providing lasting results. This is also true with the products you will recommend for home use. As your client continues use and sees results, this further establishes you as an authority they can look to for the most effective health and beauty advice.

Specialty Treatments – Who Likes What
It seems that spa goers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida take their love of the sea and its treasures very seriously. “The Seaweed Manicure is our most popular,” reports Jacqueline Smith, owner of Diva’s Day Spa at the Symphony. “The vitamins in the seaweed detoxify, stimulate, and nourish the skin. We use a micronized French seaweed powder and add seaweed oil, which greatly improves the moisture level in the skin.”
It’s no wonder clients love this service, with all the benefits seaweed holds for the skin. Seaweed contains an almost magical mixture of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. While it is often used in body treatments, you may not have thought to offer separate hand treatments for your clients as an add-on to other nail services.
Cecelia Ramirez, nail technician at the Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York, tells me that the fast paced lifestyle of the big city makes her clients long for services that bring them back to nature. “Our guests’ favorite nail services are the holistic hand and foot treatments. This treatment incorporates warm stones and a very intensive application of aromatherapy oils to relax and calm the muscles. We massage specific pressure points enabling a deeper release. To finish, we wrap the feet with paraffin to hydrate and leave the skin feeling luxurious.”
Paraffin treatments are a definite favorite of spa clients all over the country. Particularly in the winter months, nothing tops off a nail service quite like the warm, relaxing feel of the ultimate hydrating wax. Guests at Milagro Spa in New York City often choose to upgrade their nail service with paraffin and also frequently enjoy the Pedicure of the Season and more therapeutic services such as a Reflexology Pedicure, according to spa manager Candiss Lynch. “The Pedicure of the Season changes monthly and uses seasonal fragrances. Traditionally, we will offer an apple or a pumpkin Pedicure of the Season in the fall. Cinnamon might be a holiday offering. Spring and summer will be floral or fruity,” says Candiss. “This past summer, the pedicure was lavender and prior to that we featured a cherry and almond scent. We always include a beverage of some sort that makes sense with the fragrance. It could be an herbal tea or a juice drink. Our guests just love the variety and look forward to the next “Pedicure of the Season.”
A great plan of action is to offer a pedicure series, a fabulous gift for your client to give himself or herself or someone else. “As we gear up for holiday 2009, one of our series/package offerings will be a six pack of Pedicures of the Season,’ Candiss tells me, ‘thus ensuring that our guests will book these upgraded pedis all year.”
Rachelle Janicki, owner of Atlanta’s Entebello - A Modern Apothecary & Spa, says her clients love hand massages and that their Citrus Spa Manicure includes three in one treatment. “The first massage is with the scrub, which contains alpha/beta hydroxy acid crystals, and then the second is with the crystal activator that releases the acids.” This is important for a deep down cell renewal because ‘you get the benefits of both physical and chemical exfoliation. That’s followed by a reflexology massage with the deliciously smelling and super hydrating finishing lotion.’
In a true nod to their Southern roots, Entebello is also introducing a treatment called the Southern Style Lavender manicure/pedicure. This treatment uses an organic grits and honey scrub and lavender hand cream. Who said grits were just for eating, right?
“We offer a hand massage treatment with homemade organic sugar, honey, lime, pear, and poppy seed with our facials. Our clients love it. It really helps relax and soften the hands,” says Christiane Silveira of Sweet Samba Boutique*Spa in Atlanta.
Organic ingredients, including essential oils and various fruit, nut, and flower mixtures, are popular with clients for their fresh scents and calming holistic properties. Many people are focused on trying to bring more natural and less processed products into their lives and personal care items, such as those used in spa services, are an easily accessible way for them to accomplish this goal. Make it your business to stay abreast of new offerings in the way of services and products, especially at home products that you can sell to your client that focus on natural or organic ingredients and therapies. Your guests will appreciate your attention to detail and your care in wanting to offer them only the best products
and services.

Medical Spa Treatments
For clients looking for more intense results in a hand treatment, the OH2 Medical Spa in Alpharetta, Ga. offers hand vein sclerotherapy. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and veins in the hands can become very prominent. Many clients are quite bothered by this and are very self-conscious about the look of their hands. Now office procedures are available to remove only these unsightly veins. Hand vein sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure. Hand veins are injected in much the same way as leg veins; both can be done in the office and don’t require anesthetic. Post-treatment a cotton compression bandage is worn for two hours and you are then free to resume all activity, without limitation. Veins will fade over six to eight weeks after treatment is completed. Smaller vessels may disappear completely and large vessels should decrease in size. An IPL laser is then used to reduce age spots and even out the skin tone on the hands.
Injections for hand rejuvenation are becoming a popular procedure in the cosmetic world. The combination of dermal fillers and laser treatments provides a fast, safe, and virtually painless way to minimize the appearance of aging skin. Dermal fillers are injected into the hands’ surface, and typically can last anywhere from six months to two years. Laser treatments such as photofacials use intense pulsed light to target hyperpigmentation/age spots that cause them to lighten in color and disappear. “I am seeing an upward trend in hand rejuvenation, especially among patients who are undergoing facial rejuvenation, as well,” says Dr. Chip Cole, Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon and co-owner/operator of Oculus Skin Care Centre. “I highly recommend daily use of SPF 30+ sunscreen on the hands, as well as the face, to help prevent premature aging.”

At Home Care
While everyone loves a salon or spa visit that includes a fabulous nail service, home care is a vital piece of the puzzle when caring for your hands and nails. Always encourage your clients to voice their nail care concerns or ask for product recommendations to help sustain your professional treatments.
The way hands and nails are treated on a daily basis is vital to their health and well-being. Whether you do you own manicures at home or visit a professional, avoid cutting your cuticles. If you have hangnails or loose skin, very gently nip it with sanitized nippers. Anytime you cut your cuticles or the skin surrounding your nails, you leave yourself open to germs and bacteria that can cause infection. If you must clip anything, use an antibiotic cream for a few days before bed to protect yourself. Wear protective gloves when doing any sort of cleaning around your home. This will help keep your manicure and hands protected from chemicals.
Ramirez says, “After the manicure and pedicure, we recommend the guest continue the care at home by using our products. Apply a deeply nourishing cream at night before bed to allow the product to thoroughly condition the skin and cuticles. The best way to keep healthy feet and beautiful nails is to get your manicures and pedicures as often as you can.”
It is always beneficial to introduce your clients to new products for home care that they might not be familiar with. Education is a large part of why a client returns to you. “Our aestheticians recommend using Myrrh Oil,” advises Katelyn Megill, Treatment Supervisor at The Boulders Resort in Carefree, Ariz. “Myrrh oil strengthens nails and softens the cuticles. It is rich with vitamin E which firms and protects nails from splitting. It is recommended to use this product daily.”
The addition of myrrh oil to your product display area offers clients a multitasking oil that is naturally anti-inflammatory and known for its detoxifying properties. It is also effective for chapped skin and is prescribed by herbalists for relief of athletes’ foot and eczema issues. Do familiarize yourself with the oil before offering it for sale to clients or using it in treatments. Pregnant women should avoid use of myrrh oil entirely.

Nails and Hands to be Proud Of
Even if clients are sporadic with their spa visits for nail and hand related services, you can help them get the most from their time with you by first assessing their current condition, talking about which treatments you believe will bring them the most benefit, and then discussing tips and products for their at home care. By involving them in the service from the beginning, you show your commitment to their wellbeing and to them looking and feeling their best and most confident. Find out which scents they like, as scent is a major draw when it comes to using products at home. If they love the aroma of a cream or cuticle treatment, they will look forward to applying it daily. With daily use will come fantastic results that they will be thankful for and want to perpetuate.

Laura Carson Miller is a freelance lifestyle writer specializing in beauty and health/wellness. Her many years in the salon and spa business bring true life experience to all her beauty stories. She currently writes for the web, including her beauty and health blog laurasbeautybounty, and for magazines including various lifestyle and salon/spa industry publications

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